Monday, March 29, 2010

How to Kill People

There are a lot of ways to kill people. As a romantic suspense writer, I have to know as many as I can and find the one that fits the story I'm writing. Of course, there is always the old standby of shooting a person with a gun or using a knife. Then there is strangling someone. Or how about using poison? The problem there is finding the right one that will work in your story.

What is the most unusual way you've read or heard of someone being murdered? One (The Adventure of the Speckled Band) I read about in a Sherlock Holmes's short story collection was interesting. It was the story where a swamp adder from India was used to slink up and down a bell-rope and through a ventilator into the bedroom next door. The swamp adder might not bite the victim the first or second night but would eventually. The snake was lured back to the room where he was kept with a whistle. The victim was locked in the room so it was a mystery of how the person died when she was locked inside.


PamelaTracy said...

Cool! And, I absolutely adore the cover of the book.

EllenToo said...

I remember reading that Sherlock Holmes story. It was probably the most unusual way I have ever read too.
I also remember a TV episode where the man wanted to commit suicide but wanted it blamed on someone else so he set up the scene pointing to someone then took a piece of medical tubing and tied one end to something in a fireplace chimney and the other end to the gun so when he let go of the gun after shooting himself it was pulled up into the chimney where no one would see it.

Margaret Daley said...

Ellen, that sounds familiar to me. I wonder if I saw the same show.

Project Journal said...

That is DISGUSTING!!! I HATE snakes of any kind! : /

Anyway, I don't really know! I mean, I guess my advice would be for you to watch Castle. 1) It's AMAZING! and 2) the way people are killed in that show is crazy! I'm just not that creative......

Check it out, tonight at 10pm!

Debby Giusti said...

Great topic, Margaret!

I usually kill off the bad guys through tried and true methods...guns, knives, once I used a tornado.

Medical suspense author Tess Gerritsen has a list of ten how-done-its on her blog. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

I loved that Sherlock Holmes story. Come to think of it, Doyle was really good at coming up with different ways to kill people. There was the hellhound in "The Hound of the Baskervilles," the Lion's Mane Jellyfish in "The Lion's Mane," fumes from a Devil's Foot root in "The Devil's Foot," and the ivory box with a spring needle infected with an Asian disease in "The Dying Detective."

I have also seen in a "Walker, Texas Ranger" episode where some professional assasins used knives made of ice to kill their victims. They would stab them, leave, and the ice would melt, leaving no fingerprints. I'm not sure whether you would still be able to get any DNA.

I'm not so talented at coming up with different ways to kill people. I much prefer to give my bad guys a gun, knife, or some poison. Anything more complex seems to resemble on of the cartoon episodes of "The Perils of Penelope Pitstop."


Margaret Daley said...

Hannah, I hate snake, too, that's why that story stuck in my mind. I love Castle and watch it every week.

Project Journal said...

Oh great! Weren't the last two weeks AMAZING!!!!???? I mean, come on, obviously Beckett wasn't going to die, BUT it still left me in suspense all week.

I definitely look forward to my Castle Mondays, Dancing with the Stars {now} on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Grey's and Private Practice Thursdays!

It's great! I'm so glad to hear you watch it!